Honor in Concord: Seeking Spirit in Literary Concord
by Cathryn McIntyre
From the back cover...
The writers of Concord's past are alive in present day in Honor in Concord. Hawthorne, Alcott, Fuller, Thoreau, Emerson and Concord resident, Martha Hunt, appear as characters who struggle between their need for freedom and self-determination and the sense of responsibility they feel toward the commitments they have made. Do the commitments we make define or limit us? Is freedom an illusion? Are we ever truly free?
At a time when we underestimate our own ability to intuit right and wrong, Honor in Concord asks: What if we choose to honor our lives? What if we choose to honor who we are and who others determine themselves to be? What if we choose to honor the commitments we’ve made to ourselves and others… …leaving our hearts intact, rather than allowing our lives to shatter out of a sense of boredom or regret or out of the mistaken belief that none of it matters anyway?
The message here is that all that we think, say, and do has meaning. Our actions and intentions make up the very essence of who we are and help to form the circumstances of the world in which we live. In Honor in Concord the author’s own story is also told. She is a writer with a psychic sensibility who sets out to record the impressions that she has while living in Concord. What results is a weave of fiction and fact that includes extraordinary moments from her own life, as well as poignant images that she draws from Concord’s literary past, like that of Thoreau in his final days struggling to complete his essay, Walking; Hawthorne “drifting into the sea of infinity” as he writes; and Martha Hunt’s act of “purification” in the waters of the Concord River. It is through this mix of reality and imagination that we see the link that exists between the present and the past and we are reminded of the presence of spirit in our lives. We are reminded of what Emerson called the infinitude of the soul.
Reading Honor in Concord was intellectually stimulating, but also as pleasurable as eating chocolate and drinking a fine red wine. In fact, each evening I climbed into bed with a glass of good wine and escaped from my daily concerns and my own writer worries. I was able to turn off the editor in me and engage myself in this novel because the prose is natural, alive, and believable. The Transcendental Period is my favorite time in American history and Cathryn captured the heartbeat of some of my favorite writers of long ago Concord and gently, but powerfully, revealed their touch upon the present. Combining memoir, fiction, and the historical facts of the writers from Concord was innovative and daring. And it worked! Memoirs can oftentimes bog down the reader with too many intimate facts, but there was just enough candid and pivotal information to keep me interested, leaving some mystery for me to ponder. The interconnectedness of Concord's writers of the past with contemporary fictional Concord residents, and Cathryn McIntyre as a writer and seeker in Concord, created an enjoyable and satisfying reading experience. There was indeed transcendence and beauty in the quest for what might be honorable today. If we listen, these writers of the past can help us with honorable choices today. And if we listen, perhaps Cathryn McIntyre will have more to say to us, as well. - Cynthia G. Neale, Author of Norah: The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th-Century New York and other works www.cynthianeale.com
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In Honor in Concord, Cathryn McIntyre weaves a multi-faceted tale of Transcendental truths, explored and experienced then (19th Century) and now (21st Century). Is it the place itself (Concord) that engenders such insights? Is the veil between dimensions, between illusion and Spirit thinner there? What is real? What is fantasy? Ms. McIntyre challenges all our preconceived notions and gives permission for each of us to explore the expanded reality we know somehow IS. Through the emotions, thoughts and challenges of the characters, real and fictitious, as well as those of the author herself, we witness the evolution of the human condition as the profound ideas of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott and Hawthorne become a basis for action. - Connie Baxter Marlow, filmmaker, author, futurist, social philosopher. Producer: IN SEARCH OF THE FUTURE www.InSearchofTheFutureMovie.com; THE AMERICAN EVOLUTION: Voices of America-www.TheAmericanEvolution.com Co-Author: THE TRUST FREQUENCY: 10 Assumptions for a New Paradigm. www.TheTrustFrequency.net
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Honor in Concord is a compelling, entertaining and provocative read. The past and the present are woven together so uniquely giving life to the issues and subjects too often left to collect dust on library shelves.
~ Janis Pryor, Author, Producer & Radio Host
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Honor in Concord is beautifully written...time transcends as the story begins from long ago when Thoreau, Emerson and Hawthorne knew the spiritual essence of who they were and not intimidated to speak about it... the story weaves to the present and the excitement is in the comparison of the families from one century to another - could it be that Thoreau and Hawthorne are really living in today's world? This book crosses the boundaries of the literary into the spiritual in the most glorious way. A must read - can't wait for the next book!! – ~ Deborah Beauvais, Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network – www.dreamvisions7radio.com, www.lovebyintuition.com
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An enjoyable read - the author skillfully weaves historical fact with fiction and provides wonderful insight into the private lives of some of Concord's most famous literary authors. After reading this book, I wanted to learn more about the historical figures mentioned, especially Margaret Fuller and Martha Hunt. - Jennie Sandberg, Artist, Photographer, Intuitive Energy Healer
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